Counting The Days 'Til Kindergarten
Preparing For Reading Success


What reading experts say:

Letter recognition is an important prerequisite to learning to read. Successful beginning readers have a good knowledge of the alphabet, know letter names and understand that letters represent sounds.

Draw your child's attention to the visual form of individual letters in many different ways that are fun for you and your child.

Being able to recognize and name letters of the alphabet at entry into kindergarten is a strong predictor of reading ability in 10th grade. Ehri, L. and McCormick, S. Phases of word learning: Implications for instruction with delayed and disabled reader, Reading and Writing Quarterly.

What good readers know:

Good readers understand that letters are different from one another and that each letter has a name and its own distinct sound. In Straight Talk About Reading, authors Susan L. Hall and Louisa C. Moats say that most educators recommend teaching the letter name first, then the letter shape and finally the letter sound.

To be ready to read, children should know the alphabet song, upper case and most lower case letters and know the sounds each letter makes.

What parents can do to help children Grow Up Reading™:
Week 1:
Tell your child a story about your first day of school. Be expressive. Use new words your child does not know. Ask questions and respond to your child's answers.
Week 2:
Read five books from the "Talking" booklist. Remember to make a tally mark for each book. Do this every month!
Week 3:
Go to a Library program like "Saturday Morning Live" or "Pajama Storytime." Find program schedules at
Week 4:
Play "I Spy" with numbers on the calendar. Say, "I Spy with my little eye, a number that is more than 8 but less than 10."

  1. Sing silly songs with your child. Younger children love to listen to silly nursery rhymes created by altering the rhyming words of familiar nursery rhymes. For example, “Twinkle twinkle little bat, How I wonder where you’re at,” Or “Row, Row, Row, your boat gently down the stream, if you see a crocodile, don’t forget to SCREAM.”
  2. Try to have your preschooler repeat tongue twisters to practice letter sound association and beginning word sounds. “Silly Sally went to town, walking backwards upside down.” Make up your own funny tongue twisters by choosing a letter or sound and working together to make a sentence with as many words beginning with the chosen sound as possible.
  3. Visit The West Bloomfield Township Public Library for story time. Songs, dancing, nursery rhymes, and finger plays will help enhance your child’s love of music. The Library also has many music programs for families to provide many different learning opportunities.

More Great Books to Read(click on a title to check for availability at the Library)

For more suggestions and activities on Raising a Reader, follow our Grow Up Reading™ Board on Pinterest

Library Director:  Clara Nalli Bohrer    |    Youth Services Coordinator:  Jill Bickford    |    Early Childhood Specialist:  Emily Vickers

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